Game of the day: Missouri at UCLA

Dec 27, 2012 |
Game of the day: Missouri at UCLA
UCLA's fabulous freshmen are leading the way on a four-game winning streak.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
UCLA's fabulous freshmen are leading the way on a four-game winning streak.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Missouri Tigers at UCLA Bruins (-2, 152)

UCLA and No. 9 Missouri enter their game Friday night at Pauley Pavilion riding season-long win streaks. The Bruins have won four in a row and will try to improve to 22-16 against top-25 opponents since the start of the 2006-07 season. The Tigers have won their last six this season and their last six against Pac-12 opponents. Defense and rebounding are the trademarks of Missouri. The Tigers have outrebounded all 11 opponents this season, owning a double-digit advantage in eight of those games. They most recently produced a 58-35 edge on the boards in an 82-73 win Saturday against No. 10 Illinois, grabbing 22 rebounds on the offensive end. UCLA will need a big game from 6-9 forward Kyle Anderson, the leading rebounder among Pac-12 freshmen at 8.7. David and Travis Wear, the 6-10 junior twins for the Bruins, will also need to play big.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, ESPN2.

Laurence Bowers is getting stronger as his senior season moves along. The 6-8 forward, who sat out last season after undergoing knee surgery, is averaging 20.2 points over the last five games while shooting 59 percent from the floor (41-of-70) and 67 percent from 3-point range (8-of-12). He’s also second on the team at 6.7 rebounds. Another player the Bruins will need to put a body on is 6-9, 255-pound senior forward Alex Oriakhi, who is averaging 12.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in the last three games.   

ABOUT UCLA (9-3, 4-7 ATS):
The Bruins haven’t played a top-10 opponent since beating No. 10 Arizona at Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 26, 2011. If they hope to make it two in a row against top-10 teams they’ll need their freshmen to continue playing at a high level. Anderson, Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams put their names in the UCLA record book by becoming the first trio of freshmen to score at least 20 points in the same game. They did the honors in a 91-78 victory Saturday against visiting Fresno State.


* Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games.
* Bruins are 2-6 ATS in their last eight non-conference games.
* Over is 7-1 in Tigers' last eight vs. Pac-12.
* Over is 9-3 in Bruins' last 12 home games.


1. One of the greatest moments in the history of UCLA athletics was the end of an NCAA Tournament game between UCLA and Missouri in 1995. Tyus Edney dribbled the length of the floor and scored on a layup to give the Bruins a one-point victory and a berth in the Sweet 16. They went on to win the program’s 11th national title in school history.
2. UCLA's Adams has combined to shoot 18-for-24 in the last two games.

3. Only two teams have scored more than 70 points against the Tigers this season (Illinois and No. 3 Louisville.)

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